Tag Archives: cockpit

I am just a 6-seater Pilot

I logged into my facebook account today and an instant message popped up. It was Rohan. A former student at a former flight school American School of Aviation, where I held the position of a Chief Flight Instructor for over 6 years. I had not talked to him in a while, and had completely lost track of his whereabouts. First thing first, I added him as a friend so we can stay in touch from now on. What a great thing this facebook is!

Then I just followed the norm, and asked him what he was up to nowadays. To my shocking surprise, he broke a long chain of “looking for an airline job” rhetoric. He told me, “I have started working (since) about 8 months ago, sir”. “Really”, I said. “Congratulations Rohan! What kind of job? A pilot job”? And he replies back with an affirmative. I was very happy for him.

With the industry situation today, I have not heard of many fresh commercial pilot certificate holders getting a pilot job anywhere. And he tells me he has been working since about 8 months now. So, my next thing was, “Le’me see some pics man!”. I asked him how come there are no job pictures on his profile, and just some old birthday party pictures. To this he replies, “I am just a 6-seater pilot, sir”.

Huh!! What is wrong with this? Just a few hours ago I was talking to another former student, Santhosh, and he was telling me that he has a job, working as a software engineer, but how desperate he is to get a pilot job. And here is this one, he has a job, and here he is telling me that he did not post any pictures of him in the cockpit while at job, because he is just a 6-seater pilot!

My dear pilots, the fun of flying is not necessarily proportional to the number of seats behind you. It is not. And no, don’t tell me higher the number of seats, higher the responsibility. This is not true either. Would you be lesser responsible or fly with lesser amount of precision if there was only One passenger in the airplane? Being a pilot, at least for me, means, me, my machine, and the wild blue yonder. Heck, he is saying it’s just a 6-seater, and I would give up a nights sleep for a single seater anytime!!

Anyways, he did upload some pictures, and I am attaching a couple of them here in this post. And the aircraft that he flies is a Piper Aztec. And he gets paid to do so!

Congratulations again Rohan. I am very proud of you and happy for you. All the best.

Sunglasses for Pilots

Sunglasses help safeguard a pilot’s most important sensory asset — vision. A quality pair of sunglasses is essential in the cockpit environment to optimize visual

performance. Sunglasses reduce the effects of harsh sunlight, decrease eye fatigue, and protect ocular tissues from exposure to harmful solar radiation.

Additionally, they protect the pilot’s eyes from impact with objects (i.e., flying debris from a bird strike, sudden decompression, or aerobatic maneuvers). Sunglasses can also aid the dark adaptation process, which is delayed by prolonged exposure to bright sunlight.

RADIATION. Radiation from the sun can damage skin and eyes when exposure is excessive or too intense. Fortunately, the Earth’s atmosphere shelters us from the more hazardous solar radiation (i.e., gamma and X-ray); however, both infrared and ultraviolet radiation are present in our environment in varying amounts. This is dependant upon factors such as the time of day and year, latitude, altitude, weather conditions, and the reflectivity of surrounding surfaces. For example, exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases by approximately 5 percent for every 1,000 feet of altitude.

Atmospheric infrared energy consists of long-wavelength radiation (780 to 1400 nanometers [nm], see Figure 1). The warmth felt from the sun is provided by infrared radiation and is thought to be harmless to the skin and eyes at normal atmospheric exposure levels. More hazardous to human tissues is short-wavelength
ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet is divided into three bandwidths: UVA (400 – 315 nm), UVB (315 – 280 nm), and UVC (< 280 nm).1 Excessive or chronic exposure to UVA and, to a greater extent, UVB, can cause sunburn, skin cancers, and is implicated in the formation of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye maladies.

The American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses that incorporate 99 – 100% UVA and UVB protection. Fortunately, UVC, the most harmful form of ultraviolet radiation, is absorbed by the atmosphere’s ozone layer before it reaches the Earth’s surface. Some scientists believe, however, that depletion of the ozone layer may allow more ultraviolet to pass through the atmosphere,2 making 100% ultraviolet protection a wise choice when selecting eyewear.